First Woman Elected President of an African Country

With 97 percent of votes counted, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has been elected president of Liberia, the first woman elected to head any African nation. Although Johnson-Sirleaf won 59 percent of the vote in a runoff election on Tuesday, she is holding off declaring victory based on fraud allegations by her competitor, soccer star George Weah. According to the New York Times, several hundred supporters of Weah, who won only 41 percent of the vote, marched the streets of Liberia in protest, throwing rocks at police officers and attempting to storm the United States Embassy.

Johnson-Sirleaf said she hoped her win would “raise the participation of women not just in Liberia but also [throughout] Africa,” according to United Press International


New York Times 11/11/05; UPI 11/11/05

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